10 Heartbreaking Boston Sports Playoff/Championship Moments
The bitterness of Game 7 between the Lakers and Celtics still remains. In some ways, it was just a nightmare for all Boston sports fans. Although, similar to this game, the city of Boston has seen some frightful moments or episodes in their playoff or championship quests that still haunts New England to this day. While there were an awful lot of dreadful moments to choose from, here are just a handful of games that makes everyone wish these historical Boston sports events went in their favor.
1.) 2010 NBA Finals Game 7 – Celtics and Lakers – It was supposed to be a Hollywood ending in Los Angles, but instead, it turned into a nightmare. After leading 3-quarters of the game, as well as showing that the momentum was on their side, the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics looked to repeat their performance from 1969, which they defeated the Lakers in Game 7. Although, this is Hollywood and sometimes the good guy’s don’t always win or get the prize, which certainly occurred in the final few minutes. The Lakers resumed the lead late in the fourth quarter, as well as continued to out rebound and muscle the Celtics. Kobe Bryant’s clutch shooting was key down the stretch, as he and coach Phil Jackson celebrated the organization’s 16th NBA banner.
2.) 2010 AFC Wild-Card Round – Patriots vs. Ravens – Cleary the New England Patriots were lucky by the end of their 2009 campaign to be in the post-season. Lucky is the word because somehow, they were able to host one-playoff game with their 10-6 overall record. With the chance to either head to San Diego or Indianapolis the following week, the Patriots clearly looked unprepared as they faced the Baltimore Ravens for the second time that season. After an almost remarkable comeback to beat the Patriots earlier in the fall, Baltimore’s crushing defense flattened the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Interceptions, rushing touchdowns and just a gigantic smack down on both sides of the ball, helped the Ravens defeat the Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
3.) 2010 NHL Playoffs/ Round 2 – Bruins and Flyers – The Bruins held a commanding 3-0 lead when they skated onto the ice for Game 4 in Philadelphia, but the Flyers were determined that they would be one of four teams in history to come back and win a series after losing the first three games. After winning an incredible important few games, Boston was the host of a crucial, win or go home Game 7, but after an incredibly exuberant start in the first period by the Bruins, the NHL gods turned their backs to the black and gold to help the Flyers win and eventually advance to the 2010 Stanley Cup.
4.) 2008 Super Bowl XLII – Patriots and Giants – Following an exciting season finale that was televised nationally, the Patriots prevailed, beating the New York Giants in week 17, 38-35. They were 16-0 and would continue their path toward perfection by beating Jacksonville and San Diego on their way to Arizona for Super Bowl XLII. In the big game the Patriots looked confused and unsure of whom this New York Giants team was they were facing. The Giants blitzed Tom Brady all night, as well as shut down their top receivers, Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants on an unbelievable drive in the fourth quarter to secure the victory, which included avoiding a multi-man rush attack. With a small amount of time remaining for Brady to show off his magic, the city of Boston watched the Giants officially dismantle the hopes of being perfect and claimed their third Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
5.) 2006 AFC Championship Game – Colts vs. Patriots –After being defeated earlier in the 2006 season, the Patriots were prime underdogs that were trying to continue fighting their way toward Super Bowl XLI, but the only way to surely secure their tickets for the game was to beat the Indianapolis Colts in their dome. The RCA Dome was loud, extremely loud and with this being their second AFC Championship meeting in three seasons, quarterback Peyton Manning wanted it to be his turn to represent the AFC, not Tom Brady’s. After jumping out to an early lead, the Patriots went into halftime looking like their chances of returning to the Super Bowl in two season was right on target, but coming out to play 30 more minutes of football, Manning stole the show and punched the Colts ticket to Super Bowl XLI. Manning finally was proud to admit that he officially defeated the greatest coaching mind in the game today, Bill Belichick.
6.) 2004 ALCS Game 3 – Red Sox vs. Yankees – Coming back to Boston, trailing the Bronx Bombers, 2 games to none, the Red Sox felt their best chance to tie this series up was in their beloved comforts of Fenway Park. Although, due to heavy down pours the night before, Game 3 was switched from Friday evening to Saturday. Although, the extra night of sleep sure helped the New York Yankees, as they pummeled the Red Sox by a score of 19-8. The Red Sox appeared incredibly frustrated, aggravated and annoyed, as their pitchers were rocked and batters struggled. It was a wild one at Fenway, but once the game was complete, every fan believed their beloved Red Sox were done again for another season.
7.) 2003 ALCS Game 7 – Red Sox vs. Yankees – With being a game away, as well as just a handful of outs away too from heading back to their first World Series since 1986, the Red Sox kept their faith with a tired Pedro Martinez. Unable to keep their lead, Martinez allowed for the Yankees to tie up the game, which opened the door for a game winning home run by Aaron Boone off knuckleball extraordinaire, Tim Wakefield. The pitch that Boone connected on floated ever so gently toward the left field upper-deck section, which gave the Yankees their 39th American League pennant.
8.) 1996 Super Bowl XXXI – Patriots vs. Packers – The New England Patriots found themselves back in Louisiana for their second Super Bowl trip, but after losing 10-years earlier to the Chicago Bears, the Patriots sure hoped they would not be in for a repeat. Although, facing a talented Green Bay Packers team, quarterback Brett Favre made sure to score often and early. The Packers scored on the second snap of their first offensive series, which would eventually catapult them to a 35-21 victory.
9.) 1986 World Series Game 6 – Red Sox vs. Mets – When you think of the 1986 World Series, you might forget that the New York Mets prevailed, winning Game 6 and 7 at Shea Stadium. Although, you may remember one historic play that hurt the Red Sox chances of ending their curse for good. With two outs remaining, the Boston Red Sox were flirting with destiny. Although, a wild pitch that got past catcher Rich Gedmen secured the tying run for the Mets. Then, on the 10th pitch to Mets batter, Mookie Wilson, his routine ground ball hit up the first base side rolled through Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner’s legs and into the right field. Ray Knight came running home from second base and the Mets went onto win the game and series.
10.) 1976 NFL Divisional Round – Patriots vs. Raiders – New England Patriots fans surely remember this squad as being the team that was the best assembled and deserved a Super Bowl ring. After finishing with an 11-3 record, the Patriots went to Oakland for their Divisional Round playoff contest in anticipation of winning, especially since they had beaten the Raiders earlier in the season, 48-17. Leading the Raiders, 21-10, Oakland scored 14-unanswered points, as well as received some help from the referees on a controversial call that involved Patriots defensive tackle, Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton. Apparently, Hamilton was flagged for a roughing the passer call, which resulted in the Raiders scoring their final touchdown of the game to give them a 24-21 lead and eventually the game. The Raiders would continue on to win their first of three Super Bowls.